Thursday, May 22, 2008

Difficult Choices

Sometimes it is hard to take a slower road. I chose to give up consulting when I had children - it didn't really fit with what David and I wanted for a home life. Starting ABC Leksaker seemed like a great opportunity... though different from the path I had pursued up until now. Don't get me wrong - I love what I'm doing, and it fits the family perfectly. I can generally work from home, the hours are flexible, and what doesn't get done... well, it just doesn't.

But even at ABC Leksaker, I have made some strategic choices. First, no store. I just can't see how I could fit in the time to manage a store, and still pick the kids up by 3 (ok.. 4...) And trying to handle inventory between what's out on the web and what's in the shop - a coordination nightmare that I haven't even begun to deal with. And time? It takes time to make the warehouse ready for company - it is still a warehouse - and it takes time to provide good customer service. And time is the thing I just don't have. So no store. But... when people do come in to shop, they always leave with much more than if they shop online. And now an on-line competitor is opening up a shop just around the corner from the house (and office)...

Second, no catalog. I priced it once, and tried to calculate how large the print run would have to be to generate enough orders to cover the cost. Even at a conservative print run, we would still have to several times the orders that we currently fill, and we don't even have the stock to make that happen. But another competitor just sent out their summer catalog last week, and it was awesome. There were even things in there that I wanted to order...

So what can I do? I guess I can enjoy the results of the choices I have made - more time with the kids, but a smaller (and less profitable) company.

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